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Cushing's Disease Treatment

For people with Cushing's disease, treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, and drug therapy. The most common treatment is surgical removal of the tumor, known as transsphenoidal adenomectomy. Radiation therapy is given over a six-week period; however, it may take months (or even years) for people with the disorder to recover when radiation is the only treatment given.

An Overview of Cushing's Disease Treatment

Different types of treatment options are available for people with Cushing's disease. These options vary based on:
  • The symptoms present
  • How far the tumor has spread into the brain
  • The patient's age and overall health.
Treatment options for Cushing's disease may include:
  • Surgery to remove the tumor (usually transsphenoidal surgery), with or without radiation therapy
  • Radiation therapy alone
  • Drug therapy to stop the tumor from making ACTH.
Your doctor can describe your treatment options and the expected results of each. You and the doctor can work together to develop a treatment plan that best meets your medical needs and personal values. Choosing the most appropriate method of treating your Cushing's disease is a decision that ideally involves you, your family, and healthcare team.

Questions About Treatment

Many people want to take an active role in making decisions about their medical care. They want to learn all they can about Cushing's disease and their treatment choices. However, the shock and stress that may accompany a Cushing's disease diagnosis can make it hard to think of everything to ask the doctor. Often, it helps to make a list of questions before an appointment to see the doctor.
To help remember what the doctor says, people may take notes or ask whether they may use a tape recorder. Some people may also want to have a family member or friend with them when they talk to the doctor -- to take part in the discussion, to take notes, or just to listen.
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